PHOTOS: Thousands of Yemenis protest Trump travel ban at Brooklyn Borough Hall
Bodega and deli owners stage 8-hour strike
Thousands of Yemenis and their supporters — waving banners and flags and chanting “USA!” —packed into Borough Hall Plaza Thursday evening to rally, pray and protest the Trump administration’s travel ban targeting Muslims from seven countries.
It was a moving and powerful demonstration of unity and defiance, bringing tears to the eyes of many as the call to prayer echoed across Downtown Brooklyn, bringing thousands to their knees on the plaza tiles.
Brooklyn Eagle reporters were on the scene capturing moments and interviewing protesters, live streamed on Periscope. The live streams garnered more than 40,280 unique viewers from around the world.
Check out the Brooklyn Eagle’s Periscope videos taken live during the rally:
Numerous elected officials and community leaders, including Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmembers Jumanne Williams, Stephen Levin, Carlos Menchaca, I. Daneek Miller and Vincent Gentile told the protesters they had their backs.
“You have the right, and your families have the right, to be part of the American Dream,” Adams told the crowd.
“This is what democracy looks like,” said Miller, the only Muslim councilmember.
“I hope the State Department, Homeland Security and the White House could see all the immigrants here tonight,” Gentile said. “They would see how far they have drifted from American values.”
The Borough President’s Office estimated that roughly 5,ooo joined in, capping a day of action by Yemeni bodega and restaurant owners, who closed shop at noon for an eight-hour strike.
Nasser Nagi, owner of Yemen Cuisine at 145 Court St. in Cobble Hill, had a message for Trump.
“We have to let him know that what he did was unethical, unhuman, un-American, unconstitutional,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The travel ban “affects a lot of customers, family members and seven nations and beyond. Who knows? Tomorrow might be other nations,” Nagi said. “Nobody knows what this man’s planning on.”
Trump’s executive order bans the entry of all refugees for 120 days and blocks for 90 days citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
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